Minutes of GerSIG meetings at SLC 2007 Conference #germany
JewishGen German Research Division Coordinator
The following is a summary of GerSIG meetings held at the IAJGS Conference on
Jewish Genealogy. Comments and / or questions can be sent to the GerSIG
Coordinators. Our email addresses are found at the GerSIG Website.
Comments of probable interest to many GerSIG members can be sent to the Forum
for consideration. ============ Moderator
Minutes of the GerSIG meeting at the IAJGS Conference
Monday, July 16, 2007, 11:15 a.m. Salt Lake City, Utah
The meeting was called to order promptly at 11:15 by the chairman of
the meeting, Werner Frank
He introduced the five GerSIG coordinators as: himself, Karen
Franklin, Roger Lustig, Arthur Obermayer (not present), and John Paul
Lowens (the GerSIG moderator, also not present). It was announced
that Roger Lustig will be supervising all GerSIG's research projects.
Karen Franklin spoke about the annual Obermayer German-Jewish History
Awards, sponsored by Arthur Obermayer. She is a juror. There is a
call for nominations for the 2008 awards. Nominations are due by
September 20, 2007. Please write up a piece on those individual(s)
you would like to nominate, giving their name, and what he or she has
contributed to the issue of German-Jewish History. Survivors are
still active in the process. The award has grown. They hold a
ceremony in January in Berlin at which time they give out the award,
and they sponsor a conference in the fall. It is called
"Arbeitsgemeinshaft," i.e. "Working Group." Carol Baird has sponsored
a reception to coordinate with the fall conference. The website is
located at http://obermayer.us/award/.
Name Adoption List Project
Werner Frank spoke about this project (NALDEX for short.). There is a
proposed website/data base. We were shown a schematic diagram of what
the data base (index) will look like. Help is needed to input data
for this project. There was a question as to how this project differs
from the A-H-B project of Wolfgang Fritsche who is a professionalgenealogist. Mr. Frische collects lists compiled >from others and
simply posts the location of the web sites where they are located.
This database would contain all the information posted on a JewishGen
website. Gerhard Buck also noted that some of the lists available via
A-H-B are incomplete, i.e. represent only the last set of surname
adoptions in a process that took years, even decades.
Aufbau Digitizing Project
The leader for this project is Alex Calzareth. He is digitizing the
pages and creating an index of the AUFBAU, the German-Jewish newspaper
of New York that was published >from the mid 1930's through about 2002.
He began 10 12 years ago and can use some help with data input.
He has updated his search engine and has already completed 4,200 of a
possible 40,000 pages.
Carol Baird offered to donate her (almost) complete collection of
AUFBAU issues. It was suggested that Alex Calzareth might be able to
use some for his project.
John Paul Lowens, the GerSIG moderator, asked for feedback regarding
the format of the discussion group and the policy of the moderator.
There was some discussion regarding the JewishGen rule that the topic
must be specific to German-Jewish subjects. Mention was made that it
would be nice to be permitted to digress >from the main subject
occasionally, but it was generally accepted that this is a JewishGen
There was a motion made, seconded and passed "...to give John a vote
of confidence for the outstanding work that he has done on our
He also asked if we would like him to post a "...set of guidelines on
how to search the archives." All agreed that this was a good idea.
It was also suggested that this might be done on a regular basis, say
every three months, especially for new members who don't read their
welcoming letter. [MODERATOR NOTE: This is not possible.]
Funding new projects
Karen Franklin discussed the subject of allocating GerSIG money to
fund new database projects. There is a request to fund a cemetery
database project in coordination with the Munich Museum. It is easier
to fund projects to be carried out with outside organizations if the
projects have already begun. Also, projects which are of most benefit
to the genealogical community. One requirement is that the results
MUST be posted on JewishGen. They are looking to support work that is
already being done, especially of Posen and the rest of Prussia.
JewishGen rules are that a SIG can only collect money for projects,
the results of which will be permanently posted on a JewishGen
website, although they may also be published elsewhere.
There was a long discussion about how to get additional funding for
the research that JRI-Poland is doing. Because JRI-Poland is hosted
by JewishGen, but is otherwise a separate organization, issues
regarding rights and permissions (>from archives, etc.) must be
There was a question about the nomenclature of German place names. It
was suggested to post the question on the GerSIG forum or the
JewishGen Discussion Group.
There was a discussion of Ralph Bloch and his www.JGBS.org website.
He and his team are transcribing BMD records and putting them on-line.
Roger Lustig gave us an update on the GerSIG website of which Arthur
Obermayer is the webmaster. There are plans to update the Community
Histories section. Remember "It is YOUR website"
There was a suggestion >from the audience: Could they post the e-mail
address or websites of the past Obermayer Award winners so that we
could ask about recent research they have been doing?
The meeting was adjourned at 12:15 p.m. P.S. ===========
Karen Franklin got up to talk about the state of "Stammbaum"
The Journal the Journal of German-Jewish Genealogy published by the Leo
Baeck Institute. The current subscription offers a one issue
subscription only. There is a question about the possibility of
distributing the issues on-line. They are looking for a new editor as
well as donations to the Leo Baeck Institute for future issues.
The meeting was REALLY adjourned at 12:20 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Barbara Leburg Algaze July 25, 2007
Minutes of the GerSIG luncheon at the IAJGS Conference
Monday, July 16, 2007, 12:30 p.m. Salt Lake City, Utah
Peter Lande spoke about "Major Miracles" and "Minor Miracles." He
referred to a collection of German language letters >from the Lodz
ghetto to the Judenrat asking not to be sent to the death camps. Up
to now no one had a list of who wrote these letters (Germans,
Austrians, Czechs and Luxemburgians). Fritz Neubauer is in the
process of translating the thousands of pages so that interested
parties can obtain what in fact was the last letter >from these
persons. This list will appear on Jewishgen when it is completed
--hopefully later this year. A "vote of appreciation" to Fritz
Neubauer was expressed for his great effort in compiling this
The new Gedenkbuch content (memorial book/CD of murdered German Jews)
will be on the web by this fall.
Peter has transcribed a sample list of individuals sent >from Auschwitz
to Buchenwald which he obtained >from the ITS (Bad Arolsen). There are
2,200 names. Most of the names are Polish and Hungarian. None of
this information is included in the new Gedenkbuch.
Michael gave a very interesting talk about his research success and a
brick wall. There was a discussion of Ortssippen and Familienb=FCcher.
Many of these books are available at the German Immigrant Library in
Eva Lamm-Ruben made a wonderful presentation about her genealogical
successes with thanks to members of GerSIG. She also gave a power
point presentation about her trip to Germany in 2007.
Doris Stiefel gave an inspiring power point presentation of her
recently acquired family connections and displayed a most impressive
poster of the Stiefel Family Genealogy.